Mount View’s Evan Fountain defends Fort Fairfield’s Evan Beaulieu during the second half of a Class C North boys basketball semifinal on Thursday at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. The Mustangs earned a 66-40 win to reach their first regional final since 1987. Mike Mandell/Morning Sentinel

BANGOR — It didn’t seem as if the thousand-plus fans of the Mount View boys basketball team could get any more boisterous. Then, a signal from Brandon Hurd turned the green half of the Cross Insurance Center from loud to deafening.

The game was far from over when the Mustangs’ first-year head coach locked eyes with the crowd and waved his arms to get the fans pumped up shortly before halftime of Thursday’s Class C North semifinal game against Fort Fairfield. It was clear, though, where the momentum was headed.

Soon, it would also be clear where Mount View was going — somewhere it hasn’t been in 37 years. Overcoming a slow start, the Mustangs earned a 66-40 victory over Fort Fairfield to advance to the C North championship game, their first appearance in a regional final since 1987.

“We’ve been having some fun here,” Hurd said. “We always feel good when we have a loud, energetic crowd that’s been following us the whole year, and we’ve been playing some great basketball. … We got off to a tough start, but we stuck with it, and we looked good from the second quarter on.”

The teams exchanged baskets to start the game with Mount View getting layups from Wyatt Bennett and Wyatt Evensen and No. 3 Fort Fairfield (13-7) matching the Mustangs with baskets from Graedon King and Micah Daigle. Daigle and Ethan Willard then fueled a 13-4 run that put the Tigers up 17-8 early in the second quarter.


In a flash, though, No. 7 Mount View (15-6) was in front. With Fort Fairfield leading 19-14, the Mustangs used an 11-0 run punctuated by two Evensen layups to take a six-point lead. A Cayden Ala layup would stop the bleeding for the Tigers, but Mount View answered with a 7-2 run to take a 32-23 lead into half.

“Our defensive pressure definitely helped us turn it around,” said Mount View’s Noah Hurd. “We caused a lot of turnovers, and when we like to do that, we like to push the ball quick and go. We’re a very quick team front, so if we knew we could cause those turnovers, we’d be in good shape.”

Hurd, who didn’t score a basket in the first half, converted three layups in the second as Mount View stretched its lead to 44-28. After Brett Senal responded to the last of those buckets for Fort Fairfield, the Mustangs went on a 14-0 run over the next 6 minutes, 21 seconds to put the result beyond doubt.

Evensen finished with 22 points and six rebounds for Mount View, which also got 13 points from Hurd and seven points and seven rebounds from Ben Osborne. Daigle had 12 points to lead Fort Fairfield, which trailed by as many as 31 points in the fourth quarter and committed 27 turnovers.

“We said at the beginning that our defense was going to be the difference,” Brandon Hurd said. They did dribble-penetrate more than I expected, so we took away their perimeter shooting and cleaned up on the dribble-penetration. I thought that worked and carried us the rest of the way.”

Mount View’s 24-point first quarter came as Hurd, a 1,000-point scorer averaging 19.2 points per game this year, was held without a basket. Knowing early his shot wasn’t falling, the senior settled into more of a facilitator role as Evensen (eight points) and Osborne (five) took control for the Mustangs.


“It definitely says a lot about (our depth) and how together we are,” Hurd said. “I knew I couldn’t shoot well tonight, so I focused more on passing, defense and being a team player so that everybody else could shoot the ball. We have a lot good players, and guys stepped it up.”

It was the second blowout win in as many games for Mount View on the Cross Center floor. The Mustangs recorded an even more lopsided victory in their quarterfinal game, a 78-44 victory Monday against Fort Kent. They had previously defeated Penobscot Valley 57-38 to reach the quarterfinals.

The competition Mount View played all season prepared it for this moment. Playing in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, the Mustangs’ regular season schedule included Oceanside, Lincoln Academy, Medomak Valley and Winslow. They also played (and beat) Class C South No. 1 seed Mt. Abram.

“That prepared us a lot,” Evensen said. “Those higher-class teams helped push us harder in the regular season. They had a lot of bigger players; the size difference in Class B is a lot different then here. They pushed us to our limits, and that helped us.”

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